Movie Meltdown

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Fast & Furious 6


by Dave "The Conduit" Davis

     The PlotAfter the events of Fast 5, Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker) and the crew have a ton of money and are living life large on the lamb in Spain. Brian and Dom's sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) welcome their first child into the world, and the biggest source of friction is if the baby will be fast and furious in a foreign or domestic ride.

     That is, until CIA agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson) breaks the illusion that they're off the grid. Surprisingly, he's not there to arrest them, but to ask for their help. Turns out that evil twin of Dom's group — they're evilly fast and furious — is knocking off convoys in various countries to steal pieces of technology that will allow them to build … something evil (It'll knock out communications for a nation for 24 hours or something? Doesn't matter — it'll be bad if they build it, and they can sell it for lots of money to bad guys who'll do something bad with it). If Dom, Brian and their crew can help Hobbs put away the ringleader Shaw (Luke Evans, who looks a LOT like an older Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his group, they'll get their records cleaned and be able to return to the good ol' US of A.

      If that wasn't enough of an incentive, however, Hobbs shows them a photo, taken a week earlier, showing the love of Dom's life, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) alive and well, but now apparently part of Shaw's team. Quicker than you can say "load up the NOS canisters," Dom puts the team back together — including Han (Sung Kang), who still died in third film (stick around after the credits) — and we're in Jolly ol' England (London, specifically), on Shaw's trail. 

      Will Dom's crew beat their evil dopplegangers? Will we finally figure out the chronology of these films? Will there be any cars left undented in Europe? Does physics fare any better in this film than it has in the others? WIll Brian and Mia's child choose domestic or foreign? 

      Spoilers: Not at first. Yup. A few, but not many. Better than the last, but not by much. Stay tuned.

Thoughts on Fast & Furious 6:

There's an odd evolution to the Fast & Furious films, in that, while it's all good popcorn-munching fun, they actually try some different things. The previous film was an Ocean's 11caper-style movie, while Fast & Furious 6 is much more the Bourne Identity-style of film making. International intrigue, fast cut physical action and a much more violent streak (including a chase involving a tank on a freeway that causes an alarming number of innocent vehicle fatalities).

I really haven't done much research, and by "much" I mean "any," but it seems like a lot of the countries Dom's crew have taken refuge in would have some form of extradition treaties with the United States. Again, I've never been on the lam; if I were, I would do the research.

This marks one of the few times that a character played by Michelle Rodriguez has survived, although you get the feeling she was resurrected retroactively. Still counts.

With the after-credit ending, introducing the next bad guy (Jason Statham) for Fast & Furious 7: More Ferocity, the movies have caught up with themselves in chronology. So, the running order on the timeline is The Fast and The Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6 and  The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift, or 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 3. 

A relative of mine had some fairly major surgery a couple of weeks ago on his neck because of some damage he took years ago after parachuting out of a plane (which was his job at the time). Given that, none of these guys are going to be able to move in three to five years without massive amounts of pain, given the flips, rolls, crashes and just general destruction they experience. Of course, physics works a little differently in the Fast & Furious universe.




The Quick & Angry Project: Reflections

      So, that happened.

     Watching all six Fast and Furious films in one week's time isn't for the faint of heart, or those who enjoy British period dramas, but was rewarding in its own way.

     For one thing, the films actually build on each other in a way that you might not recognize if you just see them over the 13 year period they were released. Characters come in and out of the picture as needed. Without immediate memory access to the prior movies, would you even notice that the presence of Han puts the chronology of the last three films in a tizzy? Do you remember why certain characters are mad at each other, or the arc of the budding bromance between Dom and Brian? It's much clearer when the length of time between films is measured in hours and not months or years.

     Also, the films have an evolution to them. The characters aren't the same as when they started. The test is, would an event from the last film fit into the first film? By and large, the answer is "no" in this case. A tank in the first film would have been … odd. A huge, flaming Antonov AN-225 would have literally not fit in the previous films, but works fine in the last.

     Also, and I'm not sure if this is a good thing, but you kind of get numb to the physics (or lack thereof) in this world. A man jumps through the air and hits a windshield at 60 MPH and hops right up? No problem, because he hit it with his back. (Even the line "how'd you know that car would break our fall?" isn't quite as ridiculous in a certain frame of mind.) Not great if you want to try any of these stunts (Public Service Announcement: DON'T.), but once you stop asking a lot of damn fool questions, it's game on.

     But the true test of this kind of exercise is "did you enjoy yourself?" After all, these aren't documentaries, and they're not "character pieces." It's summer, and for better or worse, we're trained to expect certain types of films during certain times of the year (in January, for instance, we're trained to expect all the crap studios don't want to dump on the public in more profitable times of the year). During summer, it's explosions, fast cars, pretty people and physics be damned. 

      So, in that vain, did I enjoy myself? Yes I did. And, therefore, I mark the Quick & Angry project as a success.


(For more from Dave and the great podcast he co-hosts, go to: )


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